Publishing year: 2016
The main character in this novel is not a hero in the usual sense.
He is not very likeable. His name is Paul Morris; he is a writer who wrote a best-seller when he was 21, bur now he is forty-two, and he hasn’t written anything worthwhile since then. Paul is quite a foul character; he is a womanizer who likes young, nubile women, and a freeloader. He doesn’t seem to have a job, and he is staying in a friend’s flat for free, and his only payment is to feed the friend’s cat. However, he is to be evicted soon as his friend is returning.
It seems that the events that Paul narrates now affect his life in a terrible way later. In a bookshop he meets Andrew Hopkins, who he knew at university. Paul doesn’t like Andrew, who is a rich, pompous lawyer, but when he calls him a few days later to invite him to some dinner he is having, he accepts because he can do with a nice meal. In Andrew’s house he meets a few of his friends, and there is a particular woman who draws her attention. Her name is Alice Mackenzie; she is a lawyer, specialized in women’s affairs and other charitable causes, and she is a widow with three teenage children.
Alice claims to have met Paul in Greece ten years ago, but Paul doesn’t remember her. Apparently, Paul was not in a very good condition when he was in Greece; he drank a lot, and he claims that the time is a big blur. There is something else about that time that Alice brings up. Apparently, a teenage girl Jasmine went missing, and Alice is still campaigning alongside the girl’s mother to find out what happened to Jasmine. Paul sees Alice twice more after dinner at Andrew’s, and even though he admits Alice is not his type, he makes a pass at her, which she welcomes. I wonder what is so terrible that happened to Paul afterwards. Could Paul be involved in Jasmine’s disappearance? He doesn’t remember that time in Greece; he was totally drunk, so maybe this is cause for suspicion.
Interesting start. I’m curious to know where the author is taking us next.